On Going Paleo

A few months back I vowed to go to crossfit and train for a half marathon to whip myself into shape.  Well, here I am, almost done with January, still barely able to run a mile.  I asked myself so many times, why isn’t this working and what am I doing wrong, but I kept coming back to one thing: nutrition.  Random, right?  Well, as you may know from my about me or by knowing me personally, I have some dietary restrictions that I need to adhere to in order to feel healthy and happy.

For the longest time I though I had my gluten allergy under control and figured my stomach was just sensitive to other foods I was eating (like dairy which I know makes me ill and small amounts of soy) but I figured if I got those under control as well, I would be symptom free and healthy. Notsomuch. I have still been getting sick, and by this I mean extreme, painful bloating, and all the wonderful not-to-be-mentioned accompanying symptoms from bloating.  All I could think was, “SERIOUSLY?!”  What now? It was so beyond frustrating and for a while I thought I would always be the burping, bloated person I had become. But then I thought maybe there was a less dramatic (who, me, dramatic?!) way of dealing with these issues.

I’m going paleo.  I’m removing all of the things I have been noticing that have made me sick.

But that’s not all, I have already been paleo for 10 days.  I needed to make sure my will power was there before sharing this big news!

OK, no I will not be 100% strict paleo for the rest of my life.  Yes, I will have cheese and yogurt again in my life.  Yes I will also probably reintroduce some grains that have never made me feel ill.  But I will never rely on these foods as I was.  These will be few and far between.  Cheese will be a luxury, as I feel it should be.  Grains such as quinoa and brown rice will make appearances every once in a while.  But that’s it.

10 days ago, I went to bed with a stomachache (a normal occurrence) and made up my mind that I was committed to making it through 30 days of paleo.  If, after that 30 days, I didn’t see an improvement or change, I was going to have to figure something else out (i.e. a serious talk with my doctor).  I am a third of the way into that commitment.  I feel great. My skin is starting to clear up after some pretty bad months, I find myself less fixated on food and what to eat, and in the first 7 days, I lost 3 pounds.  Who knows if the weight loss was a fluke or due to the fact that I’m eating less processed foods, but it is the first loss I have seen in almost a year (and yes, I’ve been trying). This is major.

I made only one New Years resolution and it was to cook every recipe in the Against All Grain cookbook.  It has been fun, challenging and DELICIOUS thus far!

Since this post is getting lengthy, I will continue in another post on Saturday to get down to the nitty gritty of what it takes to go paleo.  I’ll leave you all with some pictures of my eats lately!

Breakfast Hash

Lunch!

Breakfast Egg scramble

Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

Carne Asada Burrito Bowls

PS Now that my nutrition is focused and under control, I am working on the exercise portion! Crossfit has been awesome so far and running is just as much of a struggle as it has always been, but I’m hoping to change that!

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Hello!

Hello Readers!

First of all, thanks for making your way over to my little part of the blogosphere!

I am a native Minnesotan, living in the suburbs of Minneapolis, trying to find MY healthy path in life.

The necessary ridiculous selfie.

I’m also a vinyasa yoga fanatic, attempting to-be runner, body -weight exercise lover, and avid cook and organizer.

I love trying new recipes and workouts (Crossfit was rough!), reading blogs and surrounding myself with people and things that make me happy!

My life motto.

A few years ago, I saw a holistic doctor who changed my life.  I had rapidly been gaining weight, getting ill, and had been feeling pretty crummy all around.  Previous to this visit, I had suspected I might have a dairy and gluten sensitivity, but the scope of how messed up my insides were was unexpected.  I still struggle with an upset stomach every now and then, but it has helped to know what the triggers may be.  I do not eat gluten or soy and I try to eat as little dairy as possible, definitely no cows milk!

As a kid my favorite foods were bagels with cream cheese (I think I had one for lunch almost every day of kindergarten) and pasta with butter and parmesan.  As I grew up I dabbled in vegetarianism (Fell off that wagon for bacon!) and finally came to settle on a pretty healthy diet, or so it seemed.  I had switched to whole wheat carbs, soy milk and lots of fruits and vegetables.  I was baffled at why I was gaining weight so rapidly, almost 60 lbs in 4 years.  I did indulge in normal college activities (drinks, late night snacks, takeout!) but it was way more than the Freshman 15.

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My holistic doctor ran some tests, which were fascinating – s0 much so that my mom who was there to take notes, forgot to until I asked if she was getting it all. HA!  Hopefully I’ll go more into depth on that sometime, but essentially he let me know that I am severely sensitive to gluten, dairy, soy and a whole slew of environmental toxins, including formaldehyde and petroleum.  I was stunned that my suspicions were confirmed.  I had to change my whole diet especially since my “healthy” switch to soy milk was just as damaging as the cows milk, and potentially even worse for me since I had also just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, an auto-immune disease in which ones thyroid does not produce enough TSH, our metabolism producing hormone.  That was another reason I was gaining weight.  The puzzle pieces were all starting to come together in my gluten-induced brain-fogged mind.

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So what was the solution?  Stop eating gluten, dairy and soy products and start taking an arsenal of vitamins daily along with my medication for my thyroid. Easy enough?  Not at all.  The life change was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I still struggle, but I have learned to set boundaries and limits for myself and am practicing self control when in the midst of my previously beloved wheat products.  I cried many nights because I either felt deprived, alone and isolated or because I was experiencing the worst stomach cramps and pains of my life.  I had no one to blame but myself for those days I thought I wouldn’t feel sick after eating pizza or pasta.  And as for feeling deprived, I now have more knowledge about foods and strange ingredients, and Love to experiment with recipes.  I don’t feel alone AT ALL.  I have a fantastic support system of family and friends who all understand, know and are willing to keep me in check if I feel like I’m going to fall back into a wheat or cheese induced coma.

That said, I still do eat cheese and yogurt, in moderation!  I definitely feel much lighter and clear minded when I do not have any dairy, but I have no interest in attempting to cut it out completely.

Where to go from here?  I’m eating clean, working out when I can, and keeping my mind positive!  I’m losing weight and am ready to see where my journey takes me.

What you can expect to see here?  I’ll be sharing some of my eats, exercises and healthy choices!  I also plan to throw in some posts about decorating/thrifting (fun stuff!), organizing projects that I undertake, and some random posts about things I like!

So thats my story! I hope you all keep reading!

Allie